What benefit auction ideas rocked in 2010?
What should you expect to see more of in 2011?
Trends in gala auctions do exist, though it takes longer for some ideas to gain ground.
But having attended ~50 auction fundraisers this year and consulted for dozens more, I’m noticing some ideas growing in popularity.
Let’s cover the top five benefit auction trends for 2011.
Whether selling cocktails or serving them, the concept is a hot commodity.
Some groups opt to sell a signature drink tied to a raffle. Guests can buy a $20 drink and not only receive the specialty cocktail, but have a chance at winning a beautiful bracelet. Other organizations greet guests in the registration line with the specialty drink of the night.Some groups will sell mixology classes in the live or silent auction. “
2. Green” considerations
Environmentally conscious auction chairs incorporate green ideas in different ways, but it most often takes one of two forms. It tends to be either a centerpiece with live plants which can be planted and enjoyed at home later, or it’s the foregoing of printed invitations and auction catalogs in favor of digital versions.
Less paper = more environmentally friendly.
3. Handheld bidding devices in silent auctions
For galas with big budgets, incorporating handheld bidding devices into the silent auction and appeal is drawing traction. Every company offering these types of systems is using a slightly different approach, but the similarity among all is that auction guests are using a device to bid on silent auction items. This eliminates the need for written bid sheets in the silent auction.
4. Edibles as gifts
With a nod to the economy, chunky gift bags filled with freebies is no longer the norm. But many auction organizers are still handing out gifts; the ‘thank you’ item is just downsized.
The trend has been to give edible gifts, like cupcakes, chocolates, or even (at two benefit auctions) a bottle of champagne. Bon appétit!
5. Square tables
For a visual embellishment in the ballroom, square tables are intermingled with traditional circles. This trend doesn’t raise more money in the auction, but for gala chairs with a design-eye, it’s a refreshing break from tradition.
And lastly, what’s the one trend that has not caught on, and I don’t really know why?
I’m beginning to think it’s an administrative issue. A number of groups with whom I speak talk tell me that until their Board / attorney / school superintendent formulates a policy on Facebook and other social media, their school/nonprofit/foundation can’t do anything with those tools.
Maybe Facebook will hit the benefit auction trends to watch in 2012.
Because I know you want to be a hip, up-to-date auction chair, here’s an idea.
This blog post is covering trends and was written at year’s end.
But throughout the year, I’ve been talking about these ideas in my newsletter, Benefit Auction Ideas. So to stay up to date on new auction ideas as I find them, join my newsletter (it’s free) and get those hot concepts on a monthly basis instead.
Join Benefit Auction Ideas here. I’ll see you there!